Want to learn more about home equity loans? Read some of our very targeted and thorough articles that will help you make very important decisions! more


A home equity loan means borrowing money from a bank against the equity that you currently have in your home. The equity is the value of your home minus the amount of the mortgage that you have. This is also known as refinancing your home.

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About Home Equity Loans

When it comes time to do a home equity refinance there are several terms that you should be familiar with. Many people do not understand how a home equity loan works or even what home equity is. There are two basic types of loans you can get when it comes to home equity; an equity loan or a home equity line of credit.

So what is home equity? Quite simply it is the difference between what you still owe on your home and its appraised value, or what your home is worth. Here's a simple example. If your home is appraised at $150,000 and you still owe $50,000 on your mortgage the equity in your home is $100,000.

When you take out a home equity loan, or refinance your current home equity loan, you are borrowing against that equity you have built up in your home. This type of loan will give you a one time lump sum in the form of a check that you can do whatever you choose with. You will have to pay it with a monthly payment over a set amount of months, much like a mortgage.

A home equity line of credit works a little differently. You still are able to borrow a specific amount of money based on the equity in your home, but the money is not paid out in a lump sum. You can tap into your line of credit as needed, much like we do with a credit card. The nice thing about a home equity line of credit is you only have to make payments on the money you have borrowed. If you have a $10,000 line of credit and your use $3,000 to do some home remodeling you will only make payments on the $3,000. It is important to remember that just like any other loan you will be paying interest on any money you use out of your credit line.

When you are looking to do a home equity refinance loan you must realize that you are using your home as the collateral in order to get the loan. You are guaranteeing your ability to repay the loan against the value of you home. If for any reason you cannot make your payments the lender has every legal right to foreclose on your home so they can sell it to cover the value of the loan.

One of the best reasons to do a refinance your current home equity loan is to get a lower interest rate. If your original loan had a high interest rate you can save quite a bit of money if you are able to obtain a lower rate.

If you are thinking of doing a home equity refinance then do some research and get at least four quotes from reputable lenders to see which package may work best for you.


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